Windows 10’s problems are growing. Despite the introduction of new monthly charges, the number of high profile incidents with recent updates (including one which deletes users’ personal data) is off the charts. And now
Update: November 10th – Microsoft has now officially confirmed the issue to me and stated it hopes to start rolling out a fix over the next 24 hours.
Spotted by The Register, Microsoft’s activation servers have started accidentally downgrading expensive Windows 10 Pro systems into cheaper Windows 10 Home PCs, then invalidating their licences. Needless to say, that’s a nasty financial hit (Home is $119, Pro is $199) and affected users are furious.
“After updating to Insider Build 18277 my Windows 10 digital license became invalid. I don’t understand!…No hardware changes, nothing has changed. I don’t know what to do,” tweeted one affected user.
“One of our three-year-old Lenovo Yogas just decided to throw 0xC004C003 Windows activation error. Windows diagnostic tool says the machine has Windows 10 Home license…Dumbasses” tweeted another.
And it’s not just upgraders being affected. Problems with automated Windows 10 Home downgrades are being reported with fresh installs on different Windows Pro versions as well.
“Same issue on Dell computers running Windows 10 Pro 1803 that we just bought. Need to deploy to clients but they won’t activate,” explained another user on Reddit.
Microsoft’s response? It’s not great.
On its official Answers page, Microsoft warns there is a “temporary issue” with the company’s activation server but has not disclosed any further details. As for users calling Microsoft’s call centres, the response is to simply wait for a fix.
Like The Register, I have contacted Microsoft’s press team for a response and will update this article if one is received.
It remains a serious bone of contention with many users that Windows 10 has taken much greater control over their computers making incidents like this hard to avoid. It is also the fourth major incident this year.
In January Windows 10 updates turned PCs with AMD hardware into an “unbootable state“, a major April upgrade had to be pulled for causing the infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) and the aforementioned October update permanently deleted personal files. Even the most ardent Windows fans have now accused Microsoft of having a “Software Quality Problem”.
Right now Microsoft has a lot of work to do. Especially as its upgrade services are getting more expensive, even on older Windows versions…
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